The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #3154   Message #468410
Posted By: catspaw49
23-May-01 - 12:27 AM
Thread Name: Lyr Req: WWII and Patriotic Songs
Subject: RE: Song Lyrics
To add a bit more to what Dick stated, there is a mixed opinion on whether Kelly's bombs hit the Haruna, but possibly he did score a hit....the Haruna sustained little damage in either case.

A great read is "Samurai" which is the autobiography of Saburo Sakai, the Japanese pilot who shot down Kelly's B-17. Sakai felt that Kelly's realheroism came in staying at the controls of his plane while the rest of the crew bailed out. Some have questioned whether it was Sakai or not, but others have documented the time and place. Like most history, it is always open to question because of the politics/nationalism involved.

Sakai did survive the war as Japan's leading ace with 64 kills, most of these were prior to a dogfight which left him blinded in one eye. At the end of the war he flew in an aborted Kamikaze mission and then in Japan's newest fighters, gaining two more victories. Most of his combat time was spent in a squadron flying out of Lae which included some of Japan's greatest pilots, including their highest scoring ace, Hirioshi Nishizawa who attained 103 kills before being killed while on leave in an unarmed transport plane.